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  • I drove to buy some groceries today, Davis looked vacant and dead. Winter break started and the students had left back to the comforts of their hometowns. But they will be back to create more memories that will last them a lifetime; unlike myself, unsure if I am able to see Davis like I used to ever again. My last week here in Davis before I move out, I felt a sad yearning in my heart, seeing the empty lots and street, suddenly I missed my friends, suddenly I already know my time here is officially over. Its time to take that next step.

    Dear Davis, compared to other college towns you are not that impressive. The most interesting thing about you is probably the cows near the back lot. I mean... the most common question for folks who don't go to Davis to ask is, "You guys have the cows right?" Yes, we do have cows, but what makes us really aren't those cows, it's the people, and the students that makes this little city come alive. The nice smiling grounded people that aren't afraid to wear sweats and PJ's out to class. The folks that filled this little town's restaurants and Starbucks, the people that gave this town magic. I thought back at the years I've been here, and how I've learned to call this dainty little city my home. I realized that I already miss you, lovely Davis.

    Dear Davis, other than raising me into an intelligent individual in society, thank you so much for all the "stupid" memories. Thank you the old musty study rooms in the library, where me and my friends stressed over passing our classes. Where we told each other "get off of facebook!" Where we laughed and stressed into the deep insane hours of the night. Where we sent each other youtube videos during our study breaks. Where we fell asleep on that cold hard library table. Where we went with each other on food runs and coffee runs. Thank you for those cold rainy Winters, where me and my friends met in the Coffee House between our classes, among the crowded cafeteria tables... we stalked on people that get up and leave so we could sit down on that cold wet chair and just eat and talk. Thank you for all the stupid bikers, that don't follow any rules; I still remember all the times I dodged bikes after bikes like I'm in the Matrix, trying to cross the damn street to get to Chem 194; just so I can fall asleep in that warm and musty lecture hall. To this day I walk onto campus and there's that powerful feeling of an innocent, simple nostalgia.

    Dear Davis, thank you for the friends I found. An array of memories that will last me a lifetime. I find myself being sucked into the current events of my life that I forget, just how much stupid fun I had with these wonderful people I learned to call my friends. I loved how the longest I'll ever have to drive to see a friend is 10 minutes. Thank you for all those drunken nights, that we walked in heels around downtown. All those nights we drank vodka out of a water bottle in the car and chased it with orange juice. All those times we were dancing in the small restaurant/club downtown, and I looked at one of my girlfriends and yelled over the music "I need to go to the restroom!" And as drunk as she was, she would take my hand and push out all the rest of the people just to escort me to the restroom. All those times we ran into an ex-boyfriend, or a girl we didn't like, and it was the biggest deal ever. How dramatic we were. We were stupid, we were young, and we had so much fun. All those days we got drunk, went dancing, woke up in the morning in the same outfit we were out the night before, looked at each other and said "What the hell happened?" Then we just tied up our hairsprayed curled hair, put on some sweats and went and got some Pho. Thank you for those house parties, were we downed nasty alcohol, just so we could puke everything we ate earlier that day out into some nasty toilet; the beauty of that scene is, you are never alone. There's always your drunk girlfriends with you, either holding up your hair, or yelling out at the door, "WE ARE ALMOST DONE!" at the other drunk people rushing us for being in there too long. Thank you for those school events, that were hosted and ran by students. The club meetings where we awkwardly made new facebook friends. We made our environment, we made our own fun, and at the end of it all we were strangers who weren't too strange anymore.

    Dear Davis, thank you for giving me the opportunity to bring the people I loved together. All the kickbacks that I hosted at my apartment. Texting all the people I wanted to see, and they always showed up an hour late, then we were restless until 3 AM. We beerponged, where we held hands and jumped into the swimming pool at midnight, walked around my apartment dripping went. All those times I got drunk and passed out first in my bed, and woke up with multiple blankets on me, and yak bucket next to me and the sweetest sight was seeing the rest of you in my bed with me, sprawled across my floor and all over my living room. But the beauty was it was that we didn't care, somehow it was our escape from the stressful obligations of school; to be with each other, to do stupid things with each other, to have each others back.

    Dear Davis, thank you for the scorching hot summer months. The months where I biked from my class home and got a slight tan line. All the times me and my friends went swimming together, we didn't exactly know the proper way to swim but we tried teaching each other anyways. We held hands and jumped into the deep end together. We motivated each other to touch the bottom of the deep end. We laid beneath that hot sun and tanned together, sometimes with beers, sometimes with just sunglasses and our ipods. All those nights that we came together to cook with each other, we ate together, we redboxed movies with a side of Moscato wine. All those times we decided to open my laptop and lip synced to some stupid song. I looked back at those videos now, and realized just how much I miss all those memories. Thank you for all those nights we decided to go "ghost hunting," during the cooler nights. Exploring empty lots and parks together, when we should be studying. We were like little kids, making up a new scary exciting world, and we were the explorers. The only scary things about these trips were us scaring ourselves. It was summer, the feeling of adventure and the smells of BBQ filled the air, and we all were able to get closer together.

    Dear Davis, thank you for showing me compassion I saw in others. Thank you for showing me heartbreak, and the necessary support I needed from my friends around me to be able to heal. Thank you for showing me patience, the kind my friends had for me, and the kind I learned to have for them. Above all, thank you for showing me love. The love I have for the filled parking lots of this city, the open laptops down the rows of the 24 hour study room, the bikers, the short skirts and FMLs on the thursday nights, the love I have for all these people who have been in my life these past years, and the love that I was lucky enough to receive back.

    I know that once I leave, I will still be able to come back. But I know I'm not going back to the same place that I once knew. The same people will not be around anymore, the place is the same but we are all slowly moving on; and there is nothing left for me here but the beautiful memories. I just know that I will miss all the memories, all the people. I hope you all know, that I look at the empty Davis and I already miss you all. People always told me that sometimes I put in too much effort, and I do too much; honestly everything I have given away and put into these past years were all worth it. I came out with it the small group of people I will always call my friends. I hope all these memories will mean to you all what it will always mean to me.

    Sincerely,

    Teena Nguyen
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